Course reviews


               It has offered me a safe space to start sharing my story, how to do it and be supported in it. I’m going to send my clients to these courses: such an important space to process, express, tell, share and feel heard.

  • The evaluations from your students indicate that many felt they benefitted greatly from your facilitation and encouragement to draw on their own inner resources to spark their writing, and that through this they gained knowledge about themselves and insights that were highly enriching to the writing process. They were given some methodology and tools and felt supported and enabled to be self-reliant in their work. Although this made others used to a more didactic approach insecure at first, they adapted to it and acknowledged its value.

  • This course helped me to break through the block created by my own diffidence and reluctance, enabling me to find and become confident in the thread I must pursue in order to be true to myself. Dawn created an atmosphere of trust in which the participants felt free to go as far as they wished on this journey into memory and onto the page. The structure of the course was well thought out and effective, both day by day and as a whole. An unusual, highly effective and striking aspect of Dawn’s facilitative work is her insistence that writing, memory and creativity are not simply to be found in the ‘head’, but are lodged in and distributed through the ‘memory’ to be discovered in the body itself. The course was enlightening, stimulating, moving and fun.

  • I enjoyed all the writing exercises as they showed me I have the potential to be a writer but I LOVED the excerpt readings and the balance of energies between the facilitators the most.”


  • Dawn's memoir writing workshop was a finely crafted and facilitated process that encouraged and enabled us to write. My creativity was stimulated by her use of poetry and prose, her listening and sensing exercises, her considerable knowledge and experience of the act of writing, and her easy manner when it came to holding and guiding the group and the process. In short: an excellent and productive experience!

  • "Many thanks to you and Dawn for such inspiration.

    Instead of another dreary day, I embark each sunrise on another exciting adventure.

    You have taught me to see life through so many new eyes. I didn’t realize how interesting the world is.

    You have awakened dormant memories and shown me things I hadn’t noticed before.

    You’ve expanded my horizons and shown me the diversity of personalities I’ve met."   

    Paul Cooke     UNITED KINGDOM
  • You will never know what a gift the course has been and what it has done for me, as well as the ripple effect my writing will have in the future. The gentle guidance and patience since then has given me the joy of believing in myself as well as the sheer delight of remembering and writing. A door opened for me that has led me to meeting wonderful people who also stimulate and affirm me. "Thank you" are such inadequate words, but I have no other, except to say that you have enriched my life immeasurably.

  • I found Dawn Garisch's Life Writing Workshop gratifying and inspiring in so many ways. Her approach to creative writing is uniquely her own, and one that effortlessly accommodates aspiring and published writers of memoir from a wide variety of backgrounds. I appreciate the lengths to which she goes to allow cross-subsidization of participants not able to afford the fees by those who can. Dawn guides and infuses the workshop process with her vast expertise, energy, and delight. She creates a safe place for participants to explore deeply both positive and negative aspects of their life stories. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to write their life story. It will allow you to write creatively, with integrity and honesty, in an environment with like-minded people guided by an excellent mentor.


             The writing course at LRC has helped me to deal with my painful past and to see the potential in me. It has encouraged me to read, write more and to be connected with other people.

    My published stories are an educative tool and it promotes the willingness to share our stories. By sharing we create an awareness, we connect and heal as a nation.

    Everything is a story and your story is my story, and when it is written it will be preserved for the generations to come.


    Charlotte Mande Ilunga CAPE TOWN
  • Thank you so much for your passion for the art of writing and its power to bring people to a
    deeper, healing connection. Now I can add writing to my identity – a tremendous shift for me.”

  • Attending the memoir course was unexpectedly empowering. It took me down into the very roots
    of my life experience in a safe and supportive nurturing environment."


                  It was the vitamin B1 injection that I just needed. Dawn created a safe place to explore hidden demons and her warmth empowered me to be brave.

  •           The works used as references were so interesting. Positive feedback was also a great blessing.

  • "Other courses teach how to Write. This one teaches Why to Write. The psychic stimulus and ideas that spark the creative process. The camaraderie.

    Roland Darroll
  • Dawn is a wise and gently insistent guide whose vast personal experience illuminates the shared space. It was a deeply healing experience. Thank you."

  • Thank you for a most wonderful course.

    When I was younger I spent a year trying to wind surf. I tried and tried and the sail kept flopping into the water. A friend kept saying, Laura you won’t be able to do this until you put your foot behind the mast-boom. My brain heard her but I couldn’t figure out what she meant. I kept trying and trying to lift the sail with my foot in-front of the mast-boom. One day, my foot went behind the mast-boom and the sail lifted and I rushed into the ocean where I wanted to go.

    Your course was like that day. Before it, I heard what people were saying about writing. I read what people were writing about writing. I entered a few competitions and did well. But, it didn’t feel right.
    Now, when an idea springs into my mind, I refuse to use the computer at the first birthing. The perfectionist critiques every word if I use the computer.

    I also, through your course, learnt to write what I want to write (not what I think other people want to hear).
    I have learnt to use my own life (for this is the only unique source of inspiration there is). I can disguise my life as fiction. So, THANK YOU

  •           It was wonderful to be on this course: the energy from everyone was both calming and stimulating.

  • The practice of creative writing, and specifically of poetry within this sphere, has had a consistent, profoundly therapeutic effect on my life, my physical and psycho-emotional well-being. It has also had a collective healing and transformational impact on the audiences, participants and collaborators with whom I, as a professional arts activist/applied arts practitioner, have engaged over many years.

  • Hi daar, ek het die vreeslik geniet. Maar het nog baie stories omte vertel. Ek het ook nie geweet skryf laat jou gevoelens vloei nie. Dan ook al wat dit vereis is stilte a pen en a spierwit bladsy om baie dit te deel.

  • I attended the Life Writing Course with Dawn Garisch in June 2017. As a pensioner on a limited budget I needed to be a sponsored participant and I am forever grateful for this. The Course was an experience for me of deep growth and of healing that continued working positively in my life and definitely in my writing. The Course and Dawn's facilitating leads one in a very sensitive and yet robust way to interior pathways of memory and connection needing to be explored; listening and sharing with other writers gives one the confidence to go in mind and heart where you may not have ventured before. I have recommended this Life Writing Course many times to many people and will continue to do so.

  • I found Dawn Garisch’s memoir-writing course extremely useful and helpful: she provided a structure that held all of us would-be memoirists firmly to our task, while at the same time helping us to get in touch with our senses, our fears, our dreams, our stories. The image that comes to mind is of holding tight to the golden thread that will allow us to go down to the depths and emerge again, unscathed though not unchanged. The sense of community and support that is born of twenty-odd people meeting daily for four days to address themselves to such a deeply individual task was also one of the unexpected pleasures of the experience. I would heartily recommend this course.

  • "I am finding the course incredibly rewarding. It is just what I needed at this time. I had thought to write more or to 'get writing' in the lockdown but have felt quite unable to be creative in these strange times. Your course has been just what I needed to make this time productive."

    Frances Slabolepszy CAPE TOWN
  • Doing the course opened me to emotions I didn't realise I have and made me look at some parts
    of my life with a different eye. I’ve made a promise to myself not to stop writing from now on!


    "It is such a privilege to do this, so I am very grateful, thanks."

    Jacqui Cooper CAPE TOWN
  • This was an extraordinarily rewarding week. Dawn has a remarkable talent for identifying the conversations we all need to have with ourselves."

  •         I arrived in substantial physical pain and I’m leaving much relieved. I had several transformative realizations and felt safe enough to finally “go there” and give myself permission to feel my feelings. Heartfelt thanks, this was such a gift. I feel like I’ve come home to myself after a very long and arduous journey. Such relief healing and comfort. Thank you for holding the space so beautifully.

  • Quote from a reader: 

        "This is how it is True Stories From South Africa" Volume One is an anthology of short stories written by ordinary South Africans. Therein lies the magic, because as a reader you can truly relate to these stories that are beautifully written and cover a wide range of topics, including forced removals, adultery, identity, mental illness etc.

    The Life Righting Collective has done something extraordinary by allowing ordinary people to heal from their personal stories through writing. The other advantage is that anthologies can be read in any order at any pace, so you don't have to feel overwhelmed. Do yourself a favour, go get a copy or buy it as a gift for a friend. You will not be disappointed.

    This book is highly recommended! 

    Kingsley Khobotlo JOHANNESBURG

              I would love to write a  very short testimony about how the Life Righting Collective  first anthology; This Is How It Is.

    It changed my life as a person who came from a disadvantage background  completely. Reading my  story during the book launch gave me more confidence and introduced me to more opportunities. It equipped me with more skills which I could use in my community. 

    I wish the Life Righting Collective can get funds to launch a second anthology so that more women and men can have the same opportunity  and experience like myself or even better.


    Beauty Bokwani CAPE TOWN